Students honor veterans at Carson Middle School

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Among the nearly 300 rain-tattered veteran biographies posted in front of Carson Middle School on Friday was one dedicated to Principal Tom Badillo.

Jorge Macias, 14, wrote the biography on the former Marine Corps lance corporal and introduced Badillo as a Carson Middle School Hero during the annual Veterans Day ceremony at the school.

In their interview, Badillo told Macias he wanted to be remembered as a great principal who supported his staff and cared about his students.

"I think Mr. Badillo is much more," Macias said. "I was really struggling with my classes. He stepped in with encouragement and just plain checked up on me.

"Mr. Badillo changed my life and when I made his placard, it was the best work I've ever done."

Students honored veterans, sang patriotic songs and recited their pledges to uphold American values.

"I thought it was superb," said Wayne Theriault, who was recognized for his service in the Vietnam War. "Our young people's contribution in this is terrific."

Along with Badillo, Army National Guard Maj. Renea Greenlee was named as a hero.

Greenlee, whose husband, Wade, teaches at the school, helped organize ceremony.

Her son, Brooks, a Carson Middle School student, introduced her to his peers.

"I think she is a hero because every day when she puts on her uniform, she becomes one of thousands upon thousands of military people who keep us safe," he said. "I love you, mom."

Dave Rikalo, 14, was happy to dedicate his morning to recognizing those who have served in the military.

"We need to honor our veterans," he said. "They fought for our country and they gave so much so we could have our freedom in living our own lives."

Stevie Hettrick, 14, is a member of the Air Force auxiliary Civil Air Patrol, and hopes the patriotism extends beyond Veterans Day.

"The country wouldn't be as great as it is if people weren't patriotic," he said. "Patriotism is a love for your country. We have to love our country so we can be good leaders."

All Carson City schools will be closed Monday in honor of Veterans Day. Carson High School also held ceremony to recognize Veterans with patriotic songs and a presentation of colors by the Naval Junior ROTC with keynote speaker David Wyble, a retired Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer III.

Fritsch Elementary School rescheduled a flag retirement ceremony until Nov. 13 because of rain. A National Guard helicopter landing at Empire Elementary School also was canceled because of the weather.

Students' feelings about courage

Students at Fremont Elementary School wrote their feelings about courage on strips of red, white and blue paper. The strips were joined together to make a chain of courage around the cafeteria. A sample of the student responses:

"Knowing what is right and wrong. My mom is courageous because she was a nurse in the Gulf War. I like courageous people because sometimes they will die for us." -- Stephanie Holmes, second grade.

"Little Ruby had a lot of courage to go into that white school because she was black." -- Rusty Rogers, fourth grade.

"I like courageous people because they help others. People fought for America. One of those people was my mom' dad and my sister. I love America. Go America." -- Allison McKenzie, second grade

"Sally Ride had courage to go into space." -- Tyler Bright, fourth grade

"My brother had courage to go into the Army." -- Chris Steele, fourth grade.


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